Monday, May 18, 2009

The Great Carseat Debate

My daughter turned 3 in March, and is still in a 5point harness. She is also forward facing and has been since a year old. Before she was born, we bought a Graco car seat that fit up to 22lbs and 29", which fit her well for the first year, and then she moved into the seat that we had left over from her older sister. That seat will be good for another 2-3 years, so she has awhile to use it before it expires. Car seats are generally good for about 6 years after their manufacturing date.

She is about ready to be out of the 5point harness and moved into the belt positioning booster. Her car seat right now is a 5pt and converts into the belt positioning booster, but it uses the seat belt instead of the 5 point harness. I'm delaying taking her out because I am nervous about her being in a seat belt. I have to do it really soon though. I'm actually contemplating purchasing a booster seat for her that lets her still use a 5point harness for quite awhile longer, but this remains a debate between my husband and I. He thinks that we should use the belt positioning feature because the other kids were in belt positioning boosters by this age already.

Years ago when we had the twins, they were in convertible car sets for quite some time, and we put them forward facing in those seats at a year. We knew NOTHING about car seat safety, absolutely nothing. Once they outgrew the weight/height limits, they were moved into another seat. My Oma (grandma) told me that when she had her babies, they were in a box in the floorboards of the car!!! When I was born in the 80s, my mom said the car seats we had back then were nothing compared to what we have now.

I know that we put our children in belt positioning booster seats earlier than they should have been, but at least we haven't had a bad accident. I think the twins were in a high back one at 2? Our middle daughter was in this current seat (that our toddler is using) until she reached the size limit too, and she is now in a regular backless booster seat.

So here's the dilemma: Do I remove the 5 point harness straps from our youngest daughter's car seat and just use the seat as a booster? it will still be latched in to the seat. The seat has special slots on the side for the seat belt to go through, and then she can use this seat till she turns 5. Or do I go out and purchase a booster seat with a 5 point harness that she can use for quite awhile?

I was thinking of purchasing this one from Wal Mart for $45

The only problem I can see with this seat is that it only goes up to 40lbs and 43" for the 5pt harness, and then goes to the belt positioning booster. Now, she is already 40" tall and weighs 35/36lbs. Is it worth it to buy a seat so she can use a 5pt for only 3"? she'll probably grow that in a year or less (in between her 2nd and 3d years she grew 4"!!).
Or should we just stick with what we have and use that? It can be used as a belt positioning booster till 52".

There is also this option:

It's also $45, but has height limits up to 57" tall, but it's only a belt positioning seat. Wal Mart has a couple other options, but they are more expensive.

I do like this next one, but my husband would throw a fit if I said I wanted to buy it. It is too pricey, and like I said before, he thinks she can be in a seatbelt now. This one she can use the 5pt harness basically till she reaches 65lbs. I would like to buy it, but the problem lies in convincing my husband. He can be incredibly thick headed and I'm not quite sure how to get around buying $160 car seat and not pissing him off. *sigh*

Most of the convertible carseats/boosters you will find are only good for kids up to 40" or 40lbs or both, and kids at size aren't quite ready to be in a seatbelt. We're lucky nothing happened with our other kids when they were in seatbelts at those sizes.

I don't know what to do.

So my question is this: What would you do in my case? How old are your kids and what kind of seats are they in?


The Pierce Family said...

I'm a carseat freak! Aidan will be harnessed as long as possible. In my van he is in a Graco Nautilus that harnesses until 65lbs and then will go to a booster to 100. We also have one in hubby's car that goes to 55lbs and grandma has two that both go up to 65lbs harnessed, it's just safer. Aidan is only 43lbs, so we have another year or two until he will be in a booster and he will be five in August. Go to and watch his video. I did not know any better until I watched that video. The seats are a little pricey, but worth it.

KrustyTheCat said...

I looked at the nautilus, but it's a bit too pricey for us.. hubby would throw a fit if I spent that much on a seat.

Mama Bear said...

I honestly have nothing important to say other than I'm very confuzzled by all the car seat talk, hehehe.

Good luck making a decision!! Kids safety is nothing to make light of!